Are you a new real estate agent? Congratulations! Now that it's time to get to work, and close your first deals, check out these 6 tips to help you attract valuable real estate leads even in the middle of crazy 2020.
Are you a new real estate agent? If so, congratulations. Welcome to the exciting world of real estate.
So, now that you have your license, and have picked a brokerage to work for, you finally got the hard part done, and now all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for the leads to come to you, or wait for your broker to send you leads to follow right?
As great as that would be, the answer is no. If anything, your real work is about to begin.
Unfortunately, most real estate courses only teach you about the rules and regulations you need to follow as a real estate agent, and not the skills you need to actually attract leads.
While there’s no real alternative to a good mentor that guides you in your real estate journey, we do want to share a few time-tested steps that will help you get your first real estate leads, and your first closed transactions ASAP.
1. Know where the best leads come from
We at AgentFire LOVE content marketing. That’s because it has proven to be THE BEST way of attracting leads in the mid to long term.
Of course, as a new real estate agent, you don't need 20 closed transactions in a year from now. You need to close a deal or two ASAP.
So where would you start? It begins by understanding where your leads will come from. And for that, we need to get rid of a few assumptions.
Marketing and advertisement are essential for your real estate success. But the best leads you get will NOT come from your marketing efforts. They come from referrals.
In fact, according to NAR, 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family.
Of course, as a new real estate agent, it is unlikely that you will get many referrals starting out. That’s because you haven’t yet established your reputation as a trusted professional. Your reputation is something that you will need to build over time.
As a new real estate agent, you will need to spend most of your working time marketing yourself and building relationships. And as you become more and more well established, more of your new clients will come from referrals.
2. Start With People You Already Know
Ok, now that we know where the best leads WILL come from, let's take a look at the easiest way of getting some leads TODAY. And that is by tapping into your sphere of influence.
If you have a real estate mentor, one of the first lessons you might have learned is that you need to do is tell all your family members, friends, and everyone in your life (which collectively form your sphere of influence) that you’re a real estate agent.
And when real estate mentors say everyone in your life, they do mean EVERYONE.
Family friends, colleagues, your dog groomer, yoga instructor, hairdresser, old Spanish teacher, former co-workers, roommates, your neighbors. Everyone.
Why? Because the people in your sphere of influence already know you are far more likely to trust you. And trust is an extremely important ingredient in your real estate success. Think about it, as a real estate agent, your job is to guide people through the buying or selling of quite possibly the most expensive thing they would ever buy.
And even if no one in your current sphere of influence is ready to buy at that moment, it’s still a good idea to let them know (and regularly remind them) that you’re a real estate agent. According to U.S. Census data, around 31 million people moved to a new home in the United States in 2019. That’s 9.8% of all Americans moving every single year.
If you have 100 people in your circle of influence, statistically, around 10 will move this year alone.
Even if none of your contacts is ready to buy right now, chances are they or someone they know will need your services sooner or later.
3. Meet More People And Build More Relationships
Now that you reached out to everyone in your sphere of influence, you now need to reach out and expand your network even more. In fact, your job of expanding your network of contacts is never over.
In normal, pre-COVID-19 times, the best way to establish new relationships was away from your computer screen. You had to physically get out of your office, meet people in restaurants, parks, local businesses, gyms, your local chamber of commerce, your kids’ school, trade shows, etc.
If that option is finally available again where you live, by all means, do it (while still taking reasonable safety measures such as wearing a mask, and social distancing).
But as of the publishing of this article, a huge portion of the US still remains under quarantine. Does that mean you need to wait until everything opens up before you can expand your network of contacts?
More people than ever are congregating in social media, social media groups, forums, etc.
If you can’t go out and meet people in person, why not join some of your local Facebook groups? Each community has its own “Facebook market” groups, as well as official city forums. Reach out to these groups, joined them, and share your real estate expertise with them. By doing so, you'll begin to brand yourself as the go-to local real estate professional.
You could offer to answer real estate questions, freely share buyer and seller guides, and other forms of valuable content in order to help establish your authority.
Above all though, make sure you focus on building relationships. Show some genuine interest in people and build rapport. If you're an introvert, it's going to be uncomfortable at first (I can attest to this first hand). But the more you do it, the easier it will get, and eventually becomes kinda fun.
These efforts will sooner or later pay off in the form of new acquaintances, leads, and even more sources of referrals.
4. Use a CRM, And Add all Your New Contacts To It
Back in the ’90s, British Anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed the idea that the average human brain can only comfortably maintain a maximum of 150 stable relationships.
While research is still being done on the matter, one thing is sure: we all have limited time in our daily lives and there's a limit to how many relationships you can maintain without some help.
That’s why its absolutely essential that you use a system to keep track of all your leads, contacts, and members of your sphere of influence.
A tool that can help you do just that is a customer relationship management system (CRM). A CRM should be one of the first tools you acquire and familiarize yourself with. That's because this tool lets you keep track of all your interactions with your contacts, build a database of contact details, and even special events in the life of your contract that gives you an opportunity to reach out and help them keep you in mind.
In other words, a CRM works like an additional “brain”, specifically built to help you maintain more relationships than you could on your own.
Which CRM should you get?
There are a lot of choices out there. Some good ones include:
But to be honest, as long as they help you manage your relationships, integrate well with your real estate website, and help you capture leads directly from your marketing efforts, it's just a matter of personal preference.
Try out several CRMs, and choose whichever you find the easiest to use.
5. Put Together A Strategy For Staying In The Top Of Your Contacts' Mind
Ok, now you have a CRM filled with contacts, and you've populated it with your contact's info, including all their anniversaries, holidays, and life events coming up.
The next step is to have a strategy on how to maintain those relationships, how often to reach out to them, and how.
There’s a lot of strategies out there you can follow, but one of my favorite ones is Keller Williams’ 33 Touch Campaign, found on Gary Keller’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” Book.
Keller Williams’ research shows that for a person to remember and keep you on top of their mind, they need to hear from you around 33 times. Each of these efforts to reach out to them is called a "touch."
33 may sound like a lot, especially if you’re managing an ever-growing number of contacts. If you have just 200 people on your database, that means reaching out 6,600 times.
Here’s one possible way in which you can do those 33 touches to all your contacts in a single year.
Each month, send a postcard, letter, pamphlet, or another form of marketing material that promotes your services as a real estate professional to all of your contacts. (12 touches)
Each month (but not necessarily at the same time as the last step), do a mass email campaign to everyone in your sphere of influence.
For homeowners, you can periodically send them reports on how much their home has increased in value since they first bought it, a valuable list of renovations that can boost the value of their home, how local market conditions are affecting the value of their home, etc.
For future home buyers, you could send them lists of the best mortgage rates and mortgage providers in your area.
Renters could receive updates on new housing developments coming to their area, and lists of affordable properties.
This content could be shared with them by means of email, social media, blog posts, text messages, etc.
This email could contain a valuable piece of content you recently published on your blog, the latest market research, upcoming real estate laws that could affect them, etc. (12 touches)
5 times a year, send a specialized, higher value promotional item that they are likely to keep and use. This could be a holiday card, a fridge magnet, a local summer event schedule (with your logo and contact information on it), etc. (5 touches)
4 times a year, reach out to them personally. Either in real life, by means of a phone call, a handwritten letter, or a personalized, handcrafter email. (4 touches).
Keep track of each of these touches on your CRM, and stick to this strategy.
6. Show Gratitude
Once you start closing deals, and you begin to get referrals from your contacts, make sure you show your gratitude.
Send your contact a handwritten thank you letter, give them a call, buy them lunch, send a gift card, etc.
When you show your gratitude, not only will you feel good, but you will also strengthen your relationship and make that contact more likely to send you more referrals your way.
Starting your career as a real estate agent can be both exciting as well as overwhelming. Getting your name out there is extremely important, but also challenging.
But if you follow a time tested strategy, and use all the tools available to you, you’ll be able to build a solid base for your real estate career.
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